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  • Before we left for Hong Kong, we noticed that our tabby cat, Lil' Elvis, was starting to get chubby. We thought we'd had her fixed, but a call to the vet confirmed that we had not (what great parents we would have been).

    The night we returned from our trip, we received a call to let us know that my husband's beloved dog Binkie (formerly his beloved mother's beloved dog) was about to die. We were at the Newark airport waiting for our final flight home to Florida, so there was nothing he could do. Unfortunately, when he dropped Binkie off at his sister's before we left, it was the last time he would see her.

    One week later on Sunday afternoon, Lil' Elvis let us know it was time for the kittens to come. Bill did not grow up with cats, and as a result, never had the opportunity to watch a batch of kittens coming into the world. There were four: three girls (Gracie, Dusty, Betty) and one boy (Scud Farcus, incorrectly named after the red-headed kid in the movie "The Christmas Story" whose first name we learned later is actually "Scott").

    Having grown up with cats all my life, I knew the drill: kittens are born and shortly after, when their eyes are open and they're just starting to get really cute, you give them away. This is not something my husband understood, nor was willing to do. While they were still small enough to fit into his hands all at once, he would scoop them up, hold them in front of my face and ask "Which one of these babies don't you love?"

    The "babies" as we still call them, sleep with us every night (EVERY night). Oh, there have been rare occasions (RARE occasions) when we have shut them out of the room, but we know that they are right outside the door listening. I could attribute this to simple paranoia if it weren't for the incessant sound of kitty paws scratching at the door the entire time.

    Needless to say, things aren't the same since the babies were born. You hear all the time about the effect children can have on a marriage, but the impact "fur babies" have is not something people talk about...or so I thought.

    I decided to Google "the effect cats have on marriage." Right above an article titled "Health effects of breathing cat urine," (great! can't wait to read THAT one!) is an article titled "Pets and Marriage." About half way through, the article refers to an anonymous poll citing 60% of couples surveyed reported that pets created problems in their marriages. I'm not surprised that the poll is anonymous. Who wants to admit that a cat, let alone one named "Scud Farcus" has come between you and your spouse?
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